“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Recent Posts

Cultural Appropriation Update: China's Three Great Oral Epics

By Bruce Humes, March 25, '18

Speaking at length during his recent coronation ceremony, the new emperor mispronounced the name of the Tibetan epic, King Gesar, as "King Sager" (习近平把格萨尔王说成萨格尔王”).

Unsurprisingly, this news did not appear under the headline "President Hurts the Feelings of Millions of Tibetans" in The People's Daily next day.

It is significant that he mentioned two of the three ancient oral epics in his speech, King Gesar (Tibetan) and Manas (Kyrgyz). Chinese literary apparatchiks increasingly refer to them, including Jangar (Mongolian), as “China's Three Great Epics” (我国三大史诗). This despite the fact that they originated in languages other than Chinese, among non-Han peoples and in lands that were not then part of the Chinese empire.

Alerted about it via a tweet by Shawn Zhang (章闻韶), however, Victor Mair's Language Log did discuss XJP's verbal faux pas that went unreported in China mainstream media.

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Job Posting: Pathlight Managing Editor

By Eric Abrahamsen, January 23, '18

Pathlight Magazine, a Paper Republic publication, is looking for a new Managing Editor!

The position is about half time (though sometimes busier than others), and based in Beijing. You will be working together (mostly remotely) with Paper Republic editors, and with People’s Literature Magazine, our Chinese partners. Responsibilities include:

  1. Keeping the magazine to a quarterly publication schedule.
  2. Working with Paper Republic and People’s Literature to collectively choose a theme and a table of contents for each issue.
  3. Assigning and collecting translations.
  4. Editing translations, or assigning editing work to other editors.
  5. Doing social media promotion.

We’ll provide translator and editor resources, and help connect you with everyone you need to talk to.

Salary is paid per issue, and is competitive.

Our ideal candidate:

  1. Is in Beijing.
  2. Is a Chinese => English translator. One of the strengths of Pathlight is that our translations are edited by translators.
  3. Is organized, and not afraid to crack the whip.
  4. Is conversant with contemporary Chinese fiction and poetry.
  5. Has some familiarity with digital publishing, including using InDesign and manipulating epub files.
  6. Has a bit of experience dealing with Chinese government-owned institutions.
  7. Would be available to start in the next couple months.

Interested parties please email info@paper-republic.org.

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Suggestions for Our Database

By Eric Abrahamsen, January 16, '18

Spurred by Three Percent's new searchable database of translations, in particular the ability to add new or missing titles, I've finally gotten around to finishing the first version of a similar "suggestions" function for the Paper Republic database of translated Chinese literature.

You can find the "Suggest an addition" link on the left-hand side of the PR pages, or follow this link directly. Right now it's limited to suggesting works of literature (though there's a write-in field for authors who aren't in the database), but I hope to eventually expand the options. If you're adding new works of literature to the database, please remember that Chinese originals and English translations have equal standing, so make two suggestions.

And thanks! If you have any suggestions about the suggestion (meta-suggestions!), please leave them in comments on this post.

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